I love getting together with friends, grabbing a few beers, sit down and talk for hours about the problems of the world. By the end of the night there are lots of comments shared about religion, politics, children, food, love and reality TV.
When these kind of nights happen, there are memories created, view points shared and of course lots of laughter. Sometimes we agree, other times we disagree, in the end we feel like we were able to express ourselves and our view points were respected.
During Bible Study at St. Mark’s we got off topic one night (as we sometimes do) and we started talking about how we do things at the church. This was not the “I don’t like this at church so we should change it” type of conversation. It was a real honest conversation looking at some of the things we are currently doing and we were trying to figure out how we could do them better.
I LOVE these types of conversations. It reminded me of sitting on the back porch with friends and beers talking about the world’s problems. One of the things I see in common in these two conversations is the idea of power of communities. Sure one person can make a difference in the world. But they do not do it alone. They need the support of a strong community.
If you want, you can find problems in every part of our lives as well as the world around us. I am sure if we took the time we could fill an entire notebook with the world’s problems — but Personally, I prefer to look for opportunities to change the way things “are” by asking the question, “What would it look like if it was fixed?” Then I ask myself, “What can I do to help?”
When I was very young, I looked for ways to make “the big-time.” How could I make the big splash and solve a problem, and I would wait to find the “big deal.” It was more ego than anything else. As I matured – I learned that I can’t wait around for the big-splash opportunity. If I do, I will accomplish nothing.
Each of us needs to look for solutions in the world around us, no matter how big or how small. Because if you walk by the small things and ignore them, then you will never be in a position to make a bigger difference. All we need is a small opportunity to make a big difference in the world.
I remember as a kid I loved to throw rocks in a large calm lake. I loved to watch the ripples move out from where I had dropped the pebble. One of the neatest things is realizing that eventually these ripples touch every part of the pond.
With that in mind I know that the conversations we have with one another, about the problems in the church and/or in the world are valuable. Even if it is a quick conversation they have the potential to be that pebble, to cause a positive ripple through the church, community and through the world.
My challenge for you today is to first think about your role in all the different communities in your life. Think about all the things that you enjoy about them and the things that you don’t enjoy about them and then take accountability for change. Be the pebble for positive change in the world. With enough pebbles, we will not only see small ripples but eventually we will see a title-wave of positive change all around us. Waves of hope, grace and love.